ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Silverbacks dropped their regular season home finale tonight to the Rochester Rhinos by a score of 0-1 at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. Atlanta striker Duke Hashimoto made his Silverback debut tonight after being signed this past week, as well as midfielder Sean Cameron, who returned from a jaw injury after being acquired from the Miami FC Blues.
Hashimoto comes to Atlanta from Real Salt Lake of the MLS, where he helped the reserves to a top three finish by scoring three goals in eight games. The 23 year-old Hawaiian native competed for SMU, finishing a stellar career with 26 goals and 20 assists in 71 games played, and was named the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year in his senior season.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta’s Duke Hashimoto made his Silverback debut tonight, along with Sean Cameron. Photo by Ron Holt).
“I felt pretty good about today,” Hashimoto said after the match. “I know I’m not 100% fit to go the full 90 minutes just yet, and I made a couple mistakes, but I am excited about the future and playing with the team.”
Atlanta has now dropped five straight games after suffering four consecutive road losses this past week. The Silverbacks were also missing the services of Scott Buete and Macoumba Kandji tonight due to injuries. Kandji is still recovering from a high ankle sprain in the Atlanta’s last home match against the Charleston Battery.
Hashimoto made his presence felt immediately in the match, after dribbling through several defenders on the right flank, cutting back to the top of the 18-yard box, and firing a ball that went just yards wide of the net.
Yet, Rochester was the first team to get on the board. In the 29th minute, Johnny Menyongar followed a ball sent in from Matthew Delicâte from the left flank. After a misclearance from an Atlanta defender on the bounce, Menyonger slotted the ball just under Atlanta keeper Felipe Quintero on the left post of the goal to put Rochester up 1-0.
The Rhinos nearly doubled their lead in the 35th minute. After an Atlanta corner, Rochester’s Tiger Fitzpatrick dribbled nearly 70 yards down the field on a breakaway. Fitzpatrick fired a shot on his run that went over Quintero, and dipped down to hit off the crossbar, before being parried to safety by the ‘Backs’ defense.
Atlanta countered with some great chances in the waning moments of the first half; Hashimoto made some excellent cuts on the right flank to take space and serve numerous balls, but the Silverbacks were unable to cleanly connect on any of them.
The ‘Backs opened the second half controlling much of the run of play, but were unable to convert any goals. Despite numerous crosses, throw-ins, and solid possession, the ‘Backs could not muster many quality shots on goal to threaten Rhino goalkeeper Scott Vallow.
One of Atlanta’s best chances of the match came from defender Josh Bolton, who rocketed a ball from 35 yards out that went just over the crossbar in the 90th minute of the match.
Nonetheless, Vallow finished the game with his ninth shutout of the year, placing him second amongst all goalkeepers in the league.
The Silverbacks will take a much needed break, then take on the Seattle Sounders in Washington on September 13th. For more information, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.
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Game Summary: (Rochester Rhinos vs. Atlanta Silverbacks, August 30th, 2008)
ROC: Johnny Menyongar – 29’ (Matthew Delicâte)
Atlanta Starters: Felipe Quintero, Brent Sancho, Justin Moore, David Hayes, Josh Bolton, Rodrigo Rios, Tony McManus, Duke Hashimoto, Sean Cameron, Jason McLaughlin, Aaron Paye
Substitutions: Matthew Bobo for Duke Hashimoto (60’), Martyn Lancaster for Brent Sancho (60’), Jerson Monteiro for Aaron Paye (66’), Chris Mahaffey for Sean Cameron (76’), Blake Camp for Rodrigo Rios (81’)
Cautions: Brent Sancho (6’)
Rochester Starters: Scott Vallow, John Ball, Scott Palguta, Ross Smith, Danny Earls, Tiger Fitzpatrick, Daniel Antunez, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Steve Guppy, John Menyongar, Matthew Delicâte
Substitutions: Kenney Bertz for Steve Guppy (65’), Ryan Heins for Luke Kreamalmeyer (76’), Andrew Gregor for John Menyongar (81’), Evan Milward for Danny Earls (87’), Tenywa Bonseu for Daniel Antunez (90’)
Cautions: Ross Smith (38’), Scott Palguta (47’)
Weather: Clear, 85F
Referees: Oscar Ortiz, William Cleland, JJ Blodgett, Mark Dreifuss